On March 29, 2023, the Iranian Women’s Association in the UK held a conference at the British House of Commons, co-chaired by Ms. Anna Firth, a member of the House of Commons of the UK, and Ms. Leila Jazayeri, the head of the Iranian Women’s Association in England. The conference was attended by a distinguished group of British lawmakers, university professors, and lawyers, all of whom resolutely endorsed the Iranian people’s valiant struggle for freedom and supported the ten-point plan of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
During the conference, Ms. Anna Firth expressed her concern regarding the recent poison attacks against women and schoolgirls in Iran. She expressed her support of Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan and other efforts to secure women’s rights in the future of Iran. Ms. Firth also referred to a growing call in the UK Houses of Commons and Lords on putting Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on the list of terrorist organizations.
“We’ve had one full debate on the Iranian issue, and I joined many other colleagues from both sides of the house in calling for the IRGC to be prescribed. That was before these latest horrendous poison attacks against women and schoolgirls. I’d like to congratulate the National Council of Resistance of Iran for the election of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi as its president-elect, and I’d like to endorse, as I have done on previous occasions, her ten-point plan and other platforms to secure women’s rights in the future of Iran and I’d like to call on the international community to recognize Mrs. Rajavi and her ten-point plan,” Ms. Firth said.
She also called for international scrutiny of the attacks in Iran.
“I welcome our government’s declared position in determination to hold this regime to account. I’m encouraged by the government putting women’s and girls’ rights at the center of our policy, so I believe we should have an independent international investigation into these attacks in Iran,” the conservative MP added.
Henry Smith, a senior member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, denounced the human rights abuses committed by the regime in Tehran. He condemned the targeting of vulnerable groups, particularly schoolgirls, and expressed his outrage at the idea of schoolgirls being poisoned by their own government to intimidate them and prevent them from receiving an education.
“The regime in Tehran is visiting human rights abuses on the population generally of that great country but in particular the way that they are targeting some of the most vulnerable, like schoolgirls, the very idea that schoolgirls would be poisoned by their own government, to try an intimidate, protest, to try and intimidate girls away from education,” he said.
Baroness Mubarak expressed her concern regarding the worsening human rights situation in Iran and called for unity in addressing the issue. “The human rights situation has just become worse and worse, and this—the recent protests and then this poisoning of schoolgirls—what can one see? It really is time for everyone to come together,” she said.
Dr. Jocelyn Scott, an eminent jurist, former judge, author, and professor at Cambridge University, criticized the Iranian regime’s violence against women and the enforcement of mandatory dress codes. “Violence against women is justified, and legitimated by the rulers, enforced by at least 26 so-called security agencies existing to curtail and capture women, enforcing mandatory dress codes while denying decent lives from people living in poverty,” Dr. Scott said.
Ms. Leila Jazayeri, the president of the Iranian Women’s Association, pointed out that the struggle for freedom and women’s rights in Iran has been ongoing for the past 44 years. “That is why from day one, people came out and chanted, ‘Death to Khamenei,’ ‘Death to the dictator,’ and at the same time, they were saying, ‘Death to the oppressor, be it the Shah or the mullahs,’” she said.
Dr. Elahe Zabihi expressed her belief that the current regime is playing its last card to remain in power. She highlighted the chants of “Down with the dictator” and “Down with the oppressor, be it the Shah or the mullahs” as a clear message that the people of Iran reject all forms of dictatorship.
“They are playing their last card to remain in power. The people of Iran are chanting, ‘Down with the dictator,’ and ‘Down with the oppressor, be it the Shah or the mullahs.’ The message is clear, they don’t want the current misogyny and the theocratic regime, and they don’t want to go back to monarchy dictatorship. The revolution will happen, and that’s what people want,” she said.